5 Questions with Amy Lehpamer

amylehpamerWhat is your favourite swear word?
The one that my phone’s auto-correct changes to duck. It’s percussive and punctuating. I enjoy it.

What are you wearing?
From the neck up, a full show face and giant bouffant blonde wig. Neck down, workout wear. I’m a hybrid musical theatre creature. It’d be a confusing sight on the street. Unless you were in Double Bay or Brighton. I hear people love this look down those parts.

What is love?
Sharing everything. And wanting to.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
South Pacific. Lisa McCune is a star. I’d give her all of them. Also to the male ensemble. Imagine waking up to those boys singing ‘There Is Nothing Like A Dame,’ it’d really change the course of your day. Another highlight was watching the audience notice that John Wood (fellow Scoundrel) was sitting amongst them. People genuinely couldn’t contain themselves that Sergeant Croydon was looking on Maggie Doyle’s stage work. It was like the Logies set to Rodgers and Hammerstein. A CLASSY Logies!

Is your new show going to be any good?
If you hate laughing and songs and handsomeness and beauty and Tony nominees, then don’t come. If you like those things – YOU GET ALL THOSE THINGS! And then some. The show is beautifully constructed. The characters are full of life and scope and a good dose of silliness. Yes.

Amy Lehpamer is starring in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Show dates: From 17 Oct, 2013
Show venue: Theatre Royal

Freud’s Last Session (Strange Duck Productions)

freudVenue: Theatre Royal (Sydney NSW), Aug 14 – Sep 1, 2013
Playwright: Mark St. Germain
Director: Adam Cook
Actors: Henri Szeps, Douglas Hansell

Theatre review
Theatre Royal is one of Sydney’s more beautiful theatres, usually showcasing large scale theatrical and musical productions due to its stage size and audience capacity. With just two actors and no scenic changes, Freud’s Last Session comes to Royal with extraordinary confidence. Mark Thompson’s set design is elegant, charming and effective, carefully carving out a perfectly sized performance space out of a very vast stage. It is, however, unfortunate that less attention is paid to acoustics resulting in poor volume levels for seats further back. The actors do not appear to be assisted by microphones, which is peculiar and fairly disappointing.

Henri Szeps is endearing as Sigmund Freud in his final days. His outlandish and controversial statements are presented with conviction and humour by Szeps, who presents to the audience a Freud who is unexpectedly affable. His masterful physical depiction of a feisty old man suffering from cancer is a joyful vision of experience and skill. Douglas Hansell is meticulous and detailed in his portrayal of C.S. Lewis. He delivers to the audience a sense of what London must have been like in the 1930s. Through his performance, we experience a time and place that is at once amusing and magical. The actors work well together, with a comfortable chemistry and excellent timing as a result of thorough familiarity with the material.

This is not a play with hugely dramatic moments that manipulates your emotions but its themes of religion and death are eternally fascinating, and they are dealt with with maturity, creativity and intellect. The characters see themselves as polar opposites, an atheist and a Christian, and argue engagingly about the differences in their belief systems and moralities. The play appeals to our human need to understand the afterlife and to question the existence of God, and it addresses the constant tension that resides between every point of view. Its conclusion is surprisingly universal and strangely satisfying.